A Platform for Indian Homemakers

Ceiling Fan

Posted by Vivek on September 23, 2007

Hello readers. A hot and sultry Sunday evening in Chennai prompts to me to write about “Ceiling Fans”.

Digging up some information from Wikipedia I am made to believe that ceiling fan is an American invention. I am not sure about this yet.

Ceiling Fan

Image Courtesy: global-b2b-network.com

Fans (as known widely) are electrical appliances which are used to circulate air within a room. If the temperatures are not too high and if the humidity is in check, fans do their job well of cooling the room.

These appliances are available in both 3 and 4 blade variants. In my personal experience I have only seen the 3 blade version to be widely used in India. The reason is again a mystery to me.

The accompanying device for a Fan is the speed regulator. This device regulates the speed of the fan having some pre-defined settings.


Image Courtesy: cglonline.com

The speed settings are ranging from 0(off) to 5(high speed). Settings 1,2,3 and 4 offer increasing levels of RPM (revolutions per minute).

Essentially regulators like the one shown above reduce/increase the voltage that goes to the fan.

 In the last few years, these ‘resistor” based bulky box regulators are being replaced by electronic, solid state regulators. These are nothing but light dimming switches.

Electronic Regulator

Image Courtesy: Amazon

I have heard that just using dimmer switches to control the speed of the fan is not a good idea and that one should use dedicated electronic fan regulators for this job. The former, I believe delivers too less a voltage for the fan to function properly and can result in damage to the motor of the fan.

The most failing item in a fan which is used excessively is the Capacitor. The first signs of its failure are reduced speed of operation or completely dead fan.

A ball bearing is also used in fan to reduce the friction. Wear and tear in this can produce unwanted noise. So make sure you check these out.

Cleaning fans is probably one the most difficult task at home because it is hard to reach!

We try to cover more details on this in the coming days.

enjoy your Sunday !!


8 Responses to “Ceiling Fan”

  1. Karthik said

    just so that u watch ur electricity bills!!
    while one may believe that using the fan at a lesser speed might reduce the power consumtion, this is untrue (atleast to the best of my knowledge) , the extra power is dissipated as heat (that u shud be cooling in the first place) in the regulator (which is just a resistor or a rheostat if u like to call it that)
    I am not totally sure about the electronic ones, but i remember reading somewhere that using them results in lesser bills as they don not dissipate the extra power as heat and just used the required amount of power…..comments anyone ?

  2. Thad E. Ginathom said

    If your fan buzzes, and the regulator looks modern, chances are that it is a dimmer switch, not a proper fan regulator.

    Change it, and the fan will be silent again!

    I have an unusual wish. I want my fans to go slower.

    I hate sitting in a gale of wind, and even at lowest setting I would often like less.

    My thinking is it must be just a case of wiring in a resistor, surely?

    But what resistor? How do I know it will stand the current?

    Say I want to halve the speed of my fan….

  3. Vivek said

    @ thad

    that was a wonderful observation about “buzz”. I forgot to mention it.

    Regarding the reduction of speed, doesnt your current regulator do the job? I am curious.

    Resistor may not do the job. I searched the web for some information on speed reduction, but they seem complicated.

  4. Thad E. Ginathom said

    Thanks 🙂

    I want my fans to go much slower than minimum setting on the regulators. Like halve everything would be fine, from 1 through 5!

  5. Joe said

    I have consistently encountered problems with the electronic regulators. After sometime (a few months), they simply stop working or work “too much”, (i.e), either the switch acts like a permanent break or a short circuit. But, no such issues with the “old model” regulators. Have any of you faced similar situations?

  6. Vivek said

    @ Joe

    Chances are you are using a dimmer switch at your home. I remember facing a similar problem sometime back. The problem is that the rotary part of the regulator which is in effect a variable resistor, burns out causing the permanent “make” or “break” to occur. Try switching to a different rating of dimmer switch or better still , invest in a proper electronic regulator.

  7. DonB said

    In regards to the coment about “Buzzing noise” I would first start by checking the amp load of both the fan, and the fan control. Most fan controls are below 3 amps, and are designed around a single fan control. As you start getting into mutli fan controls 5 amps (2-3 fans) up to 15 amp controls (8-10 fans) is when you start getting the Buzz or humming sound. So to reduce the buzz if you are only running a single fan. make sure you are using a 3 amp wll control because 90% of most ceiling fans, on a hign setting are putting out a load of 1.8 amps and on low setting of 1.0 amps. so remember to choose the right wall control for the correct ceiling fan

  8. good one. check mine @ http://www.bestofelectricals.com

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